Let me share with you what it’s like living in Florida. I know, we Floridians are infamous for cruelly giving our friends and relatives up north the “winter” weather report from Florida while they’re experiencing a real winter of sub-zero temperatures and deep snow. I confess my own guilt in doing this.
Give this Floridian another chance, okay? So, here’s something of what living in Florida is like. What follows are some of my normal weekly activities as a Floridian.
Twice a week I pull the trash cans to the road. On Monday evening I pull the garbage can, the recycling can and up to three cans filled with yard waste to the curb for pick up on Tuesday morning. On Thursday evening I only take the trash can to the curb for pick-up on Friday morning.
The one to three filled yard waste cans require the hard work of filling them with leaves that have fallen from the live oak tree (yes, I still pick up leaves here in Florida), twigs, and Spanish moss that’s also fallen from the tree. During the summer months this means doing these tasks when the daytime temperature is never below 90 degrees for an entire month or more.
The summer rainy season requires that the lawn be mowed every week. This is also done in 90 degree heat, even if attempted in the early morning or late evening hours.
I go shopping for groceries once a week or more in groceries stores that look no more exciting than do stores up north. Then there’s the three times daily process of turning those groceries into meals and cleaning up/doing the dishes afterwards. I sometimes have to make a trip to the hardware store to buy something for a home repair, usually making two or maybe three trips to get the right items for the project.
I also dust the house every couple of weeks, sometimes every week, if company is coming over. Diann is more consistent with the task of cleaning the two bathrooms, doing them weekly. She also does several loads of wash each week. I go through a lot of shirts in the sweaty summer months.
So, this is something of what life in Florida is like, much the same as any other part of the country. It’s easy to fantasize how life would be different and better some other place, but ordinary days, with their daily tasks, are found wherever people live..
There’s something to be said about being content where you are. Wherever we find ourselves, God knew we would be where we are, and He has a plan for us to make the most of it. The Bible records how God sent His people into exile for a time. He told them, through the prophet Jeremiah, that they were to make the best of it. We’re to do the same, finding the good of being where we are, being at peace with this our place!
“Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Jeremiah 29:7